Full Episodes of Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford

Innovative Kitchen and Bath Industry Show Products 2007

By: Danny Lipford

We’re traveling to Las Vegas to give you a behind the scenes peak at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) for 2007. Some of the innovative products we discover include:

  • Sink base made from recycled metal drum
  • Faucet mounted under a bathroom shelf
  • Translucent and brightly colored bathtubs
  • Odor eliminating toilet seat
  • Kitchen recycling chute
  • Laundry room cabinets

Read episode article to find out more.

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Danny Lipford: This week we’re in Las Vegas at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and we found some great ideas that could be perfect for your home.

Announcer: Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford, the voice of home improvement, with projects, tips and ideas to help you improve your home.

Danny Lipford: The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, or KBIS for short, is something of a mecca for design and construction professionals who are involved in the business of planning, creating and re-creating kitchens and bathrooms. These two areas of the home always get a lot of attention when people are building a new home, and they’re among the most popular areas to renovate when owners chose to remodel so it’s understandable that nearly 60,000 people are to see what’s new. And, they shouldn’t be disappointed because there are almost 1000 exhibitors here showcasing ideas, trends and products designed to make the kitchens and bathrooms of tomorrow better, more comfortable and more efficient than they are today. The show is put together by the National Kitchen and Bath Association and their president Bob Garner explains why it’s so important for those who attend.

Bob Garner: And I think this is an opportunity for a lot of these people in the industry to be able to gear up and be ready for what’s going to be happening in the near future with the customers understanding and realizing what’s available for them to chose to make their home the best that they can possibly be.

Danny Lipford: There’s a lot to see here, so stick around, and after the break, we’ll show you some of the coolest ideas on the floor, here at the National Kitchen and Bath Show from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Danny Lipford: We’re just getting started on our tour of the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show here in Las Vegas. Now we’re going to be looking at all kinds of neat products, some very practical, some, just real fun to look at. Like these from Bristle Bath. Now this is an old metal drum that they’ve actually recycled. Now we looked at this last year but now they’ve added drawers right to the bottom of it. And this is such a great idea to be able to reuse a lot of materials that would otherwise end up in the landfills. And you’ve heard about the problems with old used tires filling up the landfills? Well look what these guys have done. They’ve used the tires, sanitized them, painted them, and makes for a perfect little unique sink basin. Now they’ve also done the same thing with a wall mounted version here. Real bright color and mounted to the wall and even used the lug nuts to accent the mirror.

Now we’ve gone from looking at a sink base out of an old used tire, to a sink base from an old wooden wine barrel. Now you’ve seen these used for planters around your house and that kind of thing. First time I’ve seen it used for a sink basin like this. They’ve even taken one of the metal bands and used it for the mirror like this. Now, this line is called Second Chance for obvious reasons, and there are a lot of products that are very environmentally friendly. We’ll look at those later in the show, but right now let’s look at a few more really neat things for your bathroom.

Vanities are a really popular place to update a bath, because you can make a big impact on the whole space by changing this one element. And, if you like the looks of really clean lines, you’ll love this new fountainhead collection from Kohler. The faucet is hidden in the bottom of the wall mounted cabinetry so the stream of water becomes the focus until it reaches the simple vessel sink. Kohler is also displaying some glass vessels that have a pretty unique look too. I love the shadows they cast on the counter as the light passes through them. Now over at the Danze booth, they’re after clean lines as well, but these are inspired by nature. For a less linear look, check out this line, simply called, Glass Faucet. The hand blown glass is more than just decorative. It actually is the faucet, delivering water to the basin, somewhat indirectly, but beautiful none the less.

For a more direct approach, how about this travertine basin from the Virtue line by Hopfoot? That inverted cone style is a cool look to start with, but the texture of the travertine really sets it off. Now want something that’s really you? Well the folks at Kraus have a glass vessel for just about any style, taste or decorating sensibility. These things are all over the place, from plain and simple to over the top cool. If you’re looking for a little bling in the bathroom, there’s the Ice Series from the Rubinet Faucet Company, or the RSVP Suite from Brizo which boasts a Swarovski Crystal as the focal point of its design. Of course, where would a bathroom be without a bathtub?

Well if you can’t find one here, then you’re just too hard to please, because there’s everything from mild to wild. The Aquatic booth covers most of that range with just two or three tubs. This one, a modern translucent European design from Jason International is a really cool look that they’ve introduced to celebrate their 25th anniversary. They also have a new model created from solid surface material. This trend is all over the show, with matching vanities and tubs made from the man made material that looks just like natural stone. Of course, there’s always the real deal if you want to splurge a little bit, and this stone tub from El Dorado is a great example.

Now, speaking of pampering yourself, imagine combining a whirlpool tub, steam room, and a spacious shower into one easy to use self contained unit. And that’s exactly what Steam Planet has done, and they’ve put all of their controls into a simple electronic interface. We saw a similar control panel last year with Kohler’s DTV electronic shower control, and this year, they’ve added lights and music to the mix so that you can customize every aspect of your shower to all of your senses. Over at MTI, they’ve mounted vibrating actuators inside this shelf of an acrylic tub to effectively turn the whole thing into one big speaker. They call, Stereo H20.

So far this week, we’ve looked at a number of very innovative ideas for your bathroom, some a little over the top, and some very, very practical. Well I found a toilet seat that combines both of these concepts. It’s called the Brondell Breeza Warm toilet seat. First of all, it’s a heated seat, so it’s nice and warm when you, when you use the toilet, but one of the features that the manufacturer likes to brag about is it’s odor-reducing abilities. You know, every bathroom has some odors, and this one attacks it at the source. What I mean by that is, air is drawn in through the bowl, through a carbon filter, and through a deodorized grill and eliminates 95% of all the odors. It also has this gentle close feature so that you won’t wake up anyone in the middle of the night if you have to use the toilet. Now, why you ponder this revolutionary idea, check out this week’s Simple Solution.

Announcer: It’s time for this week’s Simple Solution from home repair expert Joe Truini.

Joe Truini: The secret to a long lasting exterior paint job is the technique known as back priming. Now back priming is nothing more than painting the reverse side of the board, and the reason the back priming works is that without it, moisture can pass through the back of the board and actually blister paint off the front. The top coat surface will actually peel right off. So, by back priming the board, you seal out the moisture and the top coat finish will last years longer.

Now, when you’re back priming, also it’s really important to get all edges and ends, specifically the ends, because that sucks up a lot of moisture. So you want to do the ends, the edges, and the entire back surface. Now, in a case like this, I’m using primer specifically designed for wood, but you can use a top coat finish if you’d like, but primer is less expensive. Also, back priming not only works for paint, but you can also use stain, so whether it’s exterior trim or siding, and whether it’s paint or stain, back priming works beautifully.

Danny Lipford: Just checking out the new product pavilion here at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas. You know a lot of the products that we’re seeing are those that really embrace green building techniques, or products that are very environmentally friendly. Now one of the best ways to be sensitive to the environment is to recycle as much trash as you can around the home. The problem that with recycling that a lot of families are finding is that it takes up a lot of valuable storage space and can start to create odors in the home.

Now, here’s a solution that Enviro-Trash developed that’s basically a laundry chute for recycling. Here’s the little insert you have in your wall, and then you have two different places here that you can recycle plastic or aluminum, then, in the adjacent room, such as a garage or utility room, you have this housing that stores all of your recyclables. Makes it very easy to assemble everything and take it right to the recycle center. Even the housing is made out of recycled materials. Now this is just one of the products that will allow you to go green.

As we’ve seen at other shows one of the best ways to do that is by conserving natural resources like water with more efficient bath fixtures. At this show, the dual flush toilet seems to be the popular solution. The idea was pioneered nearly 25 years ago by an Australian company called Caroma, which until recently only sold commercial products in the US. But now with over 30 models on display here, they’re courting the US residential market. Toto is also showing this style of toilet, but what I’ve found really interesting in their booth was the Ryohan Suite, and specifically the EcoPower faucets. It’s an automatic faucet with an exceptionally cool design that creates power for its sensor from the moving water. And because it only operates when hands are beneath it, no water is wasted.

Now how about a shower head that conserves water without spoiling your shower. Both the EcoGreen model from Kohler and the Fluidics model from Alsons claim they can do exactly that. We even found a green line of bath vanities constructed from no-formaldehyde MDF and coated with low VOC paints. For bath furniture, that’s easy on the eyes and easy to install, Kohler showed us their expandable vanity line which simply unfolds and locks into its final shape, which by the way is beautiful. Over at the Blum booth, we found some incredible space efficiency in their space corner drawers which use longer runners and a unique design to use all of the space available in a corner. They even added a Syncromotion feature for European-style cabinets with more narrow clearances. Another great efficiency idea is the wall cabinet door that swings up instead of out.

I saw versions of this idea in several places including the Hunt Wood booth, but what really caught my eye there were the glass countertops, a great look, probably a little difficult to keep clean, but wow, they look great. We talked earlier about using solid surface materials for bath fixtures but how about engineered stone in the same application, and of course, it’s still a great choice for countertops too. Over at the SileStone booth, they’re expanding the color selections for their quartz top and offering a few other options like this granite with synguard protection that should eliminate the need to seal the counters every six to 12 months. On the more economical side, there’s some cool new edge treatments for post form laminate tops at the VT Industries booth and the folks at Broan-NuTone have added some great pre-fab removable tile backsplashes in a variety of sizes to complement their famous range hoods.

What a lot of great looking surfaces here at this show. A lot of natural materials like granite, marble, and also a lot of engineered surfaces. Glass countertop, stone engineered countertop, but something I’ve seen more and more over the years and certainly here at the show, the use of bamboo in a lot of different ways, such as bamboo floors. You’ve seen that for years, but what about bamboo countertops. And look how nice this looks with the different patterns they have here, and one of the big advantages of using bamboo is how fast it grows. You can use a bamboo tree for something like a countertop or flooring, with only a four and a half year growth versus something like a maple tree that has to grow for 60 years. And bamboo is 16% harder than maple, so it really makes a lot of sense. Hey we’ve looked at a lot of different products but let’s look at a few more for our Best New Products of the week.

Danny Lipford: Cooking on the grill is a great way to feed your family or entertain guests. But if you have run back and forth from the kitchen to the deck or patio, it can get old pretty quick. Well this island grill, from CharmGlo will eliminate a lot of those trips, because there’s a space built in for everything you need. Now for starters, there’s over 500 square inches of cooking space, there’s a rotisserie burner, mounted right onto the grill itself for those slow cooked meals, and an extra burner for sauces or side dishes. Now a work surface near the grill is a must for food preparation, and this unit has two granite side tables built right in. Now there’s also lots of storage underneath in forms of drawers and cabinets for everything from utensils to the propane tank. There’s even a pullout garbage can. Now, if you were to pay someone to build a custom outdoor kitchen like this, you might spend several thousand dollars. This one has the look of a built in kitchen right out of the box and it sales for just under $1000.

Danny Lipford: Hey, this week we’re in Las Vegas at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and we’re just entering in one of the sample kitchens that’s part of the idea center sponsored by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. This particular kitchen is what they call the gardener’s kitchen, and has plenty of cabinets, nice countertop, and I love this farm table that’s positioned right in the middle of the kitchen. It really gives it a very much of a feel of a family in this overall space.

Now, one of the things they’ve done in this room is the design trend of trying to hide away as many of the appliances as you can. Here’s a good example. A refrigerator in a drawer is perfect for a little beverage center. Over here, you have a dishwasher in a drawer. This is getting more and more popular, and also people realize one of the best places for laundry, for a laundry area, is in the kitchen itself, so why not hide it away. You have your washing machine, you have all of the supplies you need for laundry, and you got an iron, as much as people don’t like ironing, and this is just a little ironing board that folds right out and positions just like that. Pretty neat, of course, next to it, you also have little sewing supplies. You have your iron over here and of course your dryer right on this end. This is a really neat concept to tuck all of this away. Now these are just a few of the design ideas we’re finding here at this show.

Another one I love here in the Design Idea Center, is the display from Traditional Home Magazine. This kitchen is a great marriage of function and form for everyone in the family. Glass cabinet doors keep it bright, a pot filler faucet over the stove for cooking those big meals, a microwave down low for the kids and plenty of prep space. And their sample bath has this cool tilted countertop that doubles as a basin for the lavatory. Now while some of this stuff is fairly low tech and rustic, you don’t have to look far to find high tech either. The NextGen Home features a kitchen where a touch screen computer is the brains of the operation, acting as a message center, prompting you when it’s time to buy groceries and controlling the function of household lighting, music and entertainment. Even the beverage center in this system is computerized. MyFountain not only store everything you need to make your favorite fountain drinks or cocktails, it also downloads and stores the recipes and mixes the drinks for you. TVs in the doors of refrigerators aren’t new but this one, from LG, is in high definition. And the ice and water center on the other door also doubles as a satellite-enabled weather center and electronic recipe book. Across the booth, they have a new microwave oven with a door that opens upward for easier access.

In the Capital Cooking booth, we found a new gas stove with professional quality, incredibly precise controls. With the burner on simmer, the flame is high enough to maintain 140 degrees, but low enough not to burn this paper. The same burner can deliver up to 19,000 BTUs of heat while the stove’s largest burner will produce up to 30,000. Now this oven from Gaggenau is all about ease of use. The controls are right in the all-glass door, which opens all the way out to 180 degrees for better access. Now speaking of access, if space is tight, you might need a small fridge like this 15 inch wide unit from Perlick or maybe a beer tap that fits into the same size space. Or maybe, you’re entertaining outside. That certainly seems to be a huge trend here. Everywhere you look, there are products and ideas for outdoor kitchens. There are cabinets designed for the outdoors and every kind of grill imaginable from gas to charcoal, to electric. Man I can almost smell the steaks cooking.

If you’re thinking of building your own outdoor kitchen, there’s never been a better time. There are so many components available, especially here in the Twin Eagles booth. Check this breakfast center out. You have a nice griddle for those eggs and bacon in the morning, and twin burners here that can be very convenient for those breakfast meals. Of course, refrigerator that’s available for the outside. You got to have the grill, and this is a restaurant style grill that’ll give you those professional results because of the special grate surface here, and also has a spring that assists the opening and closing of this, because this is a pretty heavy duty grill. Hey, what about a paper towel holder? Never seen one of these before, that’s a pretty good idea. And if you need just the twin burners by themselves, that’s available as well. Then, a prep area with a built in chopping block for any cutting that you may need to do, and you know, outdoor kitchens can be a lot of work and you might get a little thirsty. Not a problem, you got the beverage center here that you can prepare just about any kind of drink that you want. You have the ice here and you have shelves, a place to open up the bottles, and of course the margarita center. Now let’s see, how do you make those margaritas.

Tricia Craven Worley: There is no easier way to create an instant lawn than to go a garden center and buy some fresh, green, weed-free sod and have it installed all over your garden. Now that will run about $20 for 100 square feet. For about 1/10th that cost, you can buy some nice, easy to carry grass seed. Now the choice is yours, but the first thing you want to do is prepare the soil. In a large job, you’ll need to consider roto tilling, turning over the soil, getting rid of the weeds. Then in a smaller job such as this one, all you’re going to need to do is rake it a little bit, again, getting rid of the weeds. Give it a little bit of moisture and then either put the sod, which actually we pulled from a different area in this garden, or you might want to use the grass seed which of course is, as I said, costs a lot less. In my own garden, I am putting grass seed in an area under some evergreens that I have. It’s so shady and it’s only going to take a particular kind of grass seed. I like to put manure over it. It helps the seeds to germinate, but keep it all nice and moist until it start to integrate into the rest of the yard.

Danny Lipford: Before this week, I thought I had a pretty good handle on everything that was available for the kitchen and bath, but after walking the aisles of the Kitchen and Bath Show here in Vegas, I have a whole new list of good, fresh ideas. Now, all of these ideas are on the website and a few others we were not able to include in this show. And I got a few of the booths to check out.

Next week, we’re building an addition, and this one is just for fun.



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